Sentence starting with "That he / she / it / we / they / you..."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by prankstare, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Is this sentence grammatical?

    "That she didn't invite me to her birthday party it hurt me." (as "hurt" in the past simple tense)

    I guess I've heard my English teacher saying this in classroom, said it was quite common to hear it from native Americans -- this is certainly not a typical grammatical sentence that I hear in Brazil (the starting "The" that is...).
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. Mr.X Senior Senior Member

    Singapore
    Burmese & English (2nd Language)
    "That she didn't invite me to her birthday party hurts me."
     
  3. samlibere Senior Member

    French
    You can probably also say "That she didn't invite me to her birthday party did hurt me".
     
  4. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    This is grammatically correct, but no native speaker would ever say this in normal speech. It sounds way too literary.

    Also note that the verb should be in the past tense, as per the intentions of the original poster.
    You would only use did hurt in response to a negative statement or to make a contrast ("It did hurt me, but now I'm over it"). In other words, you sentence is not unmarked, linguistically speaking. See above about the style of the sentence.

    It would be much more natural to say "The fact that..."
     
  5. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil
    OK, people. But it's getting kind of confusing. Let me do this in stages:

    "That she didn't invite me to her birthday party it hurt me."

    So, this is sentence is grammatical, although not quite common among native speakers, right?
     
  6. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Yes, it is a correct but uncommon construction and sounds very formal.
    Subject: That she didn't invite me to her birthday party
    Verb: hurt
    Object: me.
     
  7. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil

    Hum, OK. Thanks 'Cagey'.

    But what about the suggestion given by contributor 'Mr.X Senior' ? Is it also a grammatical sentence since the verb tense is different:

    "That she didn't invite me to her birthday party hurts me."

    If you ever would say that sentence, in colloquial speech, would you more naturally say "hurts" or "hurt" (past or present tense) ?
     
  8. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    It is grammatical, and if what she did in the past still hurts me, I would use the present tense. While the construction is unlikely in spoken English, in my view neither tense is less probable than the other.
     
  9. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Here is a real life example from the internet that uses the more common construction suggested by elroy in post #4 - "The fact that ...."
    The fact that she died alone still hurts me.
    Here:
    Subject: The fact
    Modifier of subject: that she died alone
    Verb (+adverb): still hurts
    Object: me.


    Source of quote: http://www.caregiver.com/channels/stories/articles/once_a_caregiver.htm
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  10. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil

    Hum, alright. I get it. Thanks. :)

    Just one more thing: I was coming up with a sentence in the future tense:

    "That my friend will not give me a ride might delay my arrival at work today."

    I suppose this is getting kinda complicated now: why can't you say, for example, the same thing as the above sentence but this way:

    "That my friend will not give me a ride I might come to work late today."
     
  11. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil

    Ohh, didn't see this one coming.

    Thank you for the link. I'll have a look. :)
     
  12. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Sentence #1
    Subject: That my friend will not give me a ride
    Verb: might delay
    Object: my arrival at work today.
    Sentence #2
    Subject: That my friend will not give me a ride
    Verb for this subject is? :confused:

    "I might come to work late today" is itself a complete sentence, but nothing relates it to the clause "That my friend will not give me a ride".

    Note: We've crossed posts, it seems.​
     
  13. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil

    Ohh, yeah. I get it now why I can't write it like that. It sure is kinda messy in my mind, still is. I think it's just about what I am learning in my textbook: 'Construction of Compound Sentences'.

    And by the way, no commas are necessary, right?


    PS: yeah, I think we crossed-post there.
     
  14. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Yes, it becomes the subject of the verb (hurt), and leaves the noun clause (that she...) with no verb, and no function in the sentence.

     
  15. Skin Senior Member

    Italian
     
  16. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    Yes, this is a different construction and it is grammatical. It works because "it" stands in for "that she didn't invite me ..." as the subject. This requires that "it" come first, anticipating the real subject.

    If you replace "it" with the clause it stands for ("that she ...") you have the sentence we have been discussing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  17. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I would actually analyze that she died alone as an appositive and not a modifier. But otherwise I agree with everything you said. Thanks for assuming the duty of explaining everything I said in my first post. :D
    Yes, absolutely. :tick: Very good point! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  18. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    This is similar in construction to something else that frequently confuses native speakers and learners alike.

    Her not inviting me to the party hurt me.
    John's constant bickering with his brother annoys me a great deal.
    His singing and her dancing were the best things in the show.
     
  19. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    You have had a lot of good answers already on the basis of the above sentence. I would just like to add that in my view the simple, colloquial way to phrase the thought is: "I was hurt [or 'I am still hurt'] that she didn't invite me to her birthday party."
     
  20. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Or, in very very informal speech: She didn't invite me to her birthday party and that hurt.
    :)
     
  21. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Speaking of appositives, you could say, just to be dramatic:

    That she didn't invite me to her birthday party, it hurt me.
    (Note the comma.)
     
  22. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Alright,

    Thank you 'Cagey' and all of you who contributed somehow to the development of this thread (either with questions or answers).

    Please, feel free to post any other questions here if you feel like it; I guess my part is done. :)
     

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